History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​July 1​> jail without a regular mittimus; the jailor having to send for one some days after. The mercies of the jailor were intolerable, feeding us with a scanty allowance, on the dregs of coffee and tea, from his own table, and fetching the provisions in a basket, on which the chickens had roosted the night before, without being cleaned; five days he fed the prisoners on human flesh, and from extreme hunger I was compelled to eat it. In this situation we were kept until about the month of April, when we were remanded to for trial before the grand jury.— We were kept under the most [HC 3:448] loathsome and despotic guards they could produce in that of lawless mobs. After six or eight days the grand jury, (most of whom by the by, were so drunk that they had to be carried out and into their rooms as though they were life less,) formed a fictitious indictment, which was sanctioned by , who was the State’s Attorney under at our ex-parte trial, and who at that time stated that the Mormons ought to be hung without judge or jury, he, the said , made out a mittimus without day or date, ordering the Sheriff to take us to Columbia. The Sheriff selected four men to guard five of us. We then took a circuitous route, crossing prairies sixteen miles without houses, and after travelling three days the Sheriff and I were together, by ourselves five miles from any of the rest of the company, for sixteen miles at a stretch. The Sheriff here observed to me that he wished to God he was at home, and your friends and you also. The Sheriff then showed me the mittimus, and he found it had neither day or date to it; and said the inhabitants of would be surprised that the prisoners had not left them sooner; and said he, ‘by God, I shall not go much further.’ We were then near Yellow creek and there were no houses nearer one way than sixteen miles and eleven another way; except right on the creek. Here a part of the guard took a spree while the balance helped us to mount our horses, which we purchased of them and for which they were paid. Here we took a change of venue and went to without difficulty, where we found our families who had been driven out of the state under the exterminating order of . I never knew of Joseph Smith’s holding any office, civil or military or using any undue influence in religious matters during the whole routine of which I have been speaking. .
, sworn, says,
I arrived in , Caldwell county, Missouri, on the 4th. of April 1838, and enjoyed peace and quietness in common with the rest of the citizens, until the August following, when great excitement was created by the office seekers. Attempts were made to prevent the citizens of from voting. Soon after the election, which took place in the early part of August, the citizens of were threatened with violence from those of , and other counties adjacent to .
This, the August of 1838, I may date as the time of the beginning of all the troubles of our people in , and in all the counties [HC 3:449] in the , where our people were living. We had lived in peace from the April previous until this time, but from this time till we were all out of the state, it was but one scene of violence following another in quick succession.
There were at this time, settlements in , , Carroll, , and counties as well as some families living in other counties. A simultaneous movement was made in all the counties where settlements were made in every part of the , which soon became violent, and threatnings were heard from every quarter. Public meetings were held and the most inflamatory speeches made, and resolutions [p. 1638]
July 1 jail without a regular mittimus; the jailor having to send for one some days after. The mercies of the jailor were intolerable, feeding us with a scanty allowance, on the dregs of coffee and tea, from his own table, and fetching the provisions in a basket, on which the chickens had roosted the night before, without being cleaned; five days he fed the prisoners on human flesh, and from extreme hunger I was compelled to eat it. In this situation we were kept until about the month of April, when we were remanded to for trial before the grand jury.— We were kept under the most [HC 3:448] loathsome and despotic guards they could produce in that of lawless mobs. After six or eight days the grand jury, (most of whom by the by, were so drunk that they had to be carried out and into their rooms as though they were life less,) formed a fictitious indictment, which was sanctioned by , who was the State’s Attorney under at our ex-parte trial, and who at that time stated that the Mormons ought to be hung without judge or jury, he, the said , made out a mittimus without day or date, ordering the Sheriff to take us to Columbia. The Sheriff selected four men to guard five of us. We then took a circuitous route, crossing prairies sixteen miles without houses, and after travelling three days the Sheriff and I were together, by ourselves five miles from any of the rest of the company, for sixteen miles at a stretch. The Sheriff here observed to me that he wished to God he was at home, and your friends and you also. The Sheriff then showed me the mittimus, and he found it had neither day or date to it; and said the inhabitants of would be surprised that the prisoners had not left them sooner; and said he, ‘by God, I shall not go much further.’ We were then near Yellow creek and there were no houses nearer one way than sixteen miles and eleven another way; except right on the creek. Here a part of the guard took a spree while the balance helped us to mount our horses, which we purchased of them and for which they were paid. Here we took a change of venue and went to without difficulty, where we found our families who had been driven out of the state under the exterminating order of . I never knew of Joseph Smith’s holding any office, civil or military or using any undue influence in religious matters during the whole routine of which I have been speaking. .
, sworn, says,
I arrived in , Caldwell county, Missouri, on the 4th. of April 1838, and enjoyed peace and quietness in common with the rest of the citizens, until the August following, when great excitement was created by the office seekers. Attempts were made to prevent the citizens of from voting. Soon after the election, which took place in the early part of August, the citizens of were threatened with violence from those of , and other counties adjacent to .
This, the August of 1838, I may date as the time of the beginning of all the troubles of our people in , and in all the counties [HC 3:449] in the , where our people were living. We had lived in peace from the April previous until this time, but from this time till we were all out of the state, it was but one scene of violence following another in quick succession.
There were at this time, settlements in , , Carroll, , and counties as well as some families living in other counties. A simultaneous movement was made in all the counties where settlements were made in every part of the , which soon became violent, and threatnings were heard from every quarter. Public meetings were held and the most inflamatory speeches made, and resolutions [p. 1638]
Page 1638